I thought that the interview might be postponed because of the military situation. I hoped it would be. But it was not.
The interview was with the Dean of the Medical Faculty, Prof. Theodor Wiznitzer.
He was an imposing figure, a clinical proctologist.
I was so nervous that I brought my colleague and friend Dr. Ervin Weiss, to accompany me. This was not the first time I asked someone to accompany me to an interview. Five years earlier, I had asked my dear mother to accompanied me to my interview with Prof. Eugene Rosenberg when I asked him to accept me as a Ph.D. student. She did. He did.
Prof. Wiznitzer invited me to his office (where I would have many meetings over the coming decades). I was hot and nervous. I must have sweat a puddle.
At first, the Dean was correct and apologetic. “I know the Dental School wants you to join them as microbiologist. But there is no available position there.”
He looked at my CV and leafed through the articles. He made some positive comments about my Ph.D. work, the papers we had published.
But any optimism I had was soon shattered when he told me point blank that there were no positions available.
My hopes were shattered.
This went on for several cycles. The Dean would look down at the papers, say something positive about my research, and then explain that no sadly enough, no positions were available.
And then it happened.
He looked up again. “I have just changed my mind,” he said. “I have several ppositions that the Rector has given to me to distribute at my discretion. I am going to give one to you. I want you to go there and teach the dentists about science and research. Good luck.”
He smiled and shook my hand (which must have been shaking already).
I walked out of his office and into a career at Tel Aviv University which began that same fall and lasted until my early retirement in 2011.
While he was still alive Prof. Wiznitzer would take a personal interest in how I was managing in the position which he had decided that I would fill.
And to this very day, I do not know what made him change his mind. And my life.